Flash back to the year 2000 when Supreme, the streetwear label founded just six years earlier, created skateboard decks, t-shirts, and other merchandise featuring a parodied version of Louis Vuitton’s over 100-year old iconic floral monogram. Louis Vuitton was not happy about it and Supreme was quickly met with a cease and desist and asked to recall the items.
Now fast-forward back to present day, 17 years later and Supreme’s idea has returned with open arms from Louis Vuitton. At their Fall 2017 Menswear show, Louis Vuitton has revealed a major collaboration with the streetwear brand, not only embracing the previous tees and skate decks, but a full selection of items like bags, phone cases, accessories, and clothing.
Clearly, at least 17 years ago, a combination of the new (a youth-driven streetwear brand) and the old (a brand with nearly 200 years of legacy) would have been unthinkable, but today is a new day! This type of merging of generations has been becoming very popular lately as the millennials are becoming more prevalent in fashion and brands want to meet the needs of this new wave of consumers. See Gucci’s collaboration with the artist GucciGhost or Coach 1941’s more rebellious aesthetic.
Now all of this may mean one thing for the consumers of these types of items, but it means something more for the emerging designer. With the increasing popularity and acknowledgement of youth-driven ideas, there has never been a better time for the next generation of designers. The big brands have their legacies to protect, but they also realize that in order to continue that legacy, the new generations have to be heard and represented and who knows a generation better than the people who are in it?
Up-and-coming designers, whether it be fresh out of design school or already establishing their own brand, are gaining more and more of an advantage in the industry because there is a strong demand for something new and exciting, and most importantly, relatable to the next generation of consumers. This doesn’t mean that designers who are heavily inspired by the past are at a loss, it just means that now, those designers must strive to reinvent rather than recreate.
Even many of the shows during Milan’s Men’s Fashion Week were hinting at the emergence of the next generation of designers. Fashion week in Paris and Milan are two that are usually known to be devoted to legacy and traditions in fashion, but with even those two evolving in recent seasons, we can only expect to see even more great things from the shows to come in the ever-changing New York City!